Re: Running on empty?
A/C because I'm in the industry, and close to system design.
Transmission, that is, power movement at 132kV and above, there is capacity available. Just not necessarily in the right places. All those south east coast interconnectors - great, but you need to be able to move that power across boundaries where previously the only flow was a drip feed north to south. London isn't built with bypassing flow from South to north in mind. The london power tunnels being built now are part of the solution but not all.
Windmills in the north east - same issue. Sure, they take up the capacity previously occupied by coal burners. But there's a lot more wind coming on over next 10 years (contracted) than coal went off.
These are known and solvable problems which will need relatively low levels of capex to solve. The bigger problem is the fallback for low wind, which needs a ton of storage adding as BEIS and Ofgem recently acknowledged. There isnt yet an inventive to build storage, which needs attention. Also, Grid or the distro networks are legally prohibited from doing it ( for same reason it's not allowed to operate commercial generation).
The real problem is at distribution levels, so 132kV and coming down to your home. A few car chargers - fine. But dump one on 60-70 percent of houses, and capacity of the cables and transformers upstream will be eaten rapidly. Smart meters can remotely curtail power. It does not take a genius to put two and two together to see where this is going. Distro will have to expand a lot to accommodate demand - and it is no accident that WPD have just been bought by NG with this in mind. (capex translates into long term income because of the way things are financed.)
Don't like this finance model? Then vote for a political party in favour of nationalisation instead.
As for statistics about what proportions of power are what, gridwatch is your friend. Biomass is a relatively small contribution to UK total, and wind/solar have been regularly reaching 50pc or more. Gas, and occasionally coal have to spin to make up the shortfall. (And provide system stability / frequency reference/response).